Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly is reportedly seeking talks with manager Jose Mourinho over his long-term future at the club.
Manchester United and Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly wants to hold talks with Jose Mourinho ahead of the next season, amid concerns over his role at the club, as per report from the Sun.
The 24-year old arrived to the Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 from Villarreal for a fee of £30 million and soon established himself as one of Jose’s key men in the starting XI and a fan-favourite with his all-action displays in the heart of the defence. Bailly finished his debut campaign 39 appearances (37 starts) across all competitions, as United went on to lift the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
However, his second season with the Red Devils was marred by injury troubles, as a troublesome ankle problem saw him being sidelined for a period of four months between November 2017 to February 2018.
Having recovered from the injuries, Bailly failed to regain his starting spot, with Jose preferring the English duo of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as his first-choice centre-back partnership, despite them being inconsistent and unconvincing.
There were reports emerging all is not well between the player and the manager, after Bailly was left out for the FA Cup semi-final, only for Mourinho to justify his actions by claiming that he preferred to pick players who were heading to the World Cup, in order to help them prepare better.
Bailly ended the 2017/18 season with just 18 appearances (15 starts) across all competitions, scoring his first and only goal for the 20-time English champions in the 4-0 win over Swansea City in the Premier League.
The 24-year old is understood to be very happy at the club and does not have any intention of leaving Old Trafford at the moment. But, he is keen on seeking clarity over his role at the club from Mourinho and understand where he stands in the Portuguese’s plans. While at the same time, the defender is determined to prove to the manager that he should be in the starting XI week in week out, and not out warming the benches.
But the fact that the Red Devils have been linked with a number of defenders over the past month does make the situation a bit worrisome for the Ivorian. Manchester United are understood to be monitoring the situation of Tottenham Hotspur star Toby Alderweireld, while Mourinho also remains a strong admirer of Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane and wants a reunion with the Frenchman in the Premier League.
The 29-time capped Ivory Coast international still has two years left on his contract with Manchester United. However, his long-term future at the club will largely hinge on how the next season pans out for him. Another year spent on the sidelines could prompt Bailly consider moving away from the club.